sono.tino

these are the words and photos that depict the world in which we live.


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A rough slideshow from our jaunt to Colorado…

The trip was fast and furious.  If there wasn’t weather striking, there was activity occurring.  PA met CO on many levels.  We saw old PA neighbors in Niwot, and old PA climbing bud in Estes, and we were hard-core chillaxin with good PA friends & climbin partner all while on the front range.  There was something really raw and wild about it all, perhaps the best way to celebrate the 4th of July.

Thed basics were:
– flight delayed from PHL to DEN due to thunderstorms (PHL couldn’t guide an iPod to a docking station on time)
– arrive at Paul & Johannas in Lafayette (it can’t be their house, where’s his truck?…Let’s call him…Yes, it is 1:30am…oh, you sold your truck)
– tasty brunch on Pearl Street before meeting Paul @ 12:30 to climb in Eldo (does anyone in CO work full-time?!)
– 3 Wind Tower routes with Paul & Julie (a quick 700 ft of climbing)
– a morning run up the first flat iron (climbing in my approach shoes informed me that my approach shoes were shot) – quick 1400ft of rock
– a run that afternoon in the Open Space behind Paul’s abode & dinner with Jo and our old PA neighbors, Josh, Amy & Lyla
– 5am rise to do Melvin’s Wheel on Lumpy’s Ridge and start up another route when the darkening storm hail-rained us off the cliff (450+ft)
– saw an old buddy, Mike Drinker from PA, at the base, who we inadvertent dropped a quickdraw on
– randomly decided to hike into a sport area named Ironclad or Ironsides on Rte 7 (great 100ft+ bolt lines and nary a soul with whom to contend) (quick 600ft of rock)
– rest day (some light sport climbing with Julie in Boulder Canyon & picked up a new pair of Approach shoes – Scarpa Crux rock!) (yes, there is poison ivy in Boulder Canyon, Julie’s face proves it)
– 4:30 rise and jet up to RMNP to hike into Hallett Peak and run up Culp-Bossier ***
– kind of anti-climactic climbing up the second buttress – we did it in 5 200ft pitches (quick 1000ft of rock)
– run back to get a bivy permit for Upper Glacier Gorge (score!)
– Happy Hour at the Rock Inn with wheat ales and burgers (why yes, I will take a free beer, thank you)
– Hike out to Spearhead in UGG (wrong turn added 2 miles onto a 6+mi hike) – 10pm and delirious is a great time to stop hiking…Paul. Stop.
– Hiked past dark, past a huge Elk and bivied on a slab with cold Taco Bell in our pillows….here bear, bear, bear…Volcano Burrito, Mr Bear….
– 5am rise to tackle Syke’s Sickle on Spearhead (am I awake or am I dreaming)
– In a delirious state, from the first pitch I dropped a quickdraw and 4 nuts on the glacier and Paul ran around to grab it all (mountain mangoat)
– stellar climbing & a crux pitch to not be forgotten
– double fist jams and a stem with lots of air below the knuts, protected out the wazoo
– tagged the summit and descended in anticipation of 40 marmots partying with the apple fritter I accidentally left in the top of my pack
– miraculously, no marmots and an intact pack (and used wag bag for carryout…taco hell)                                – Burgers, margharitas, tequila and Upslope beer feed the alpine soul quite well
– 4th of July held the summiting of South Arapahoe Peak (~13,800ft) – the highest Julie has ever been!
– Trail run down to a shower and a ‘pool party’ with new and old friends

Thank you mountains, thank you friends and thank you weather for cooperating.

Not too shabby…me likes Colorado

Colorado2013-Select


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La bilancia di gravita

Some days gravity feels like the air is an ocean and it just pins you to the ocean floor like you’re a crab, forced to crawl. I mean, how do those thing actually keep themselves down there. They’re hollow! We’ve all cracked one open, you know what I mean. There is precious little meat, the best of it is in the claws and otherwise it’s a hard-shelled balloon aching to fly off to meet an unsuspecting finger; even the soft-shelled ones.

I digress. It’s what happens when your ability to function optimally seems stunted, like not all 8 cylinders are firing. This lack of capacity must be linked to an increased density and surface tension in our daily fluid. Doesn’t the air just feel heavy at times and steps require a little more energy than they did yesterday. Maybe all of the free-radicals are reacting with some unstable oxygen, and increasing the bonding energy of … well, everything.

Imagine the moon in it’s low gravity environment. It’s as if you were to take that lunar acceleration and go the delta between the moon’s and the earth’s gravity, but to the faster end…that’d be some heavy shit. It would feel like a constant state of depression.

Just getting out of bed in the morning would become that much more difficult. In essence, the world would be pushing back. For all of the times that you scorned the world as if it had somehow been a factor in why some random situation did not result in your egocentric favor (insert black & white John Wayne scene with him yelling, “Damn you, world!” in a fake rainstorm with a six-gun strapped to his thigh). Consider this increased resistance as the world deciding to take the opportunity to put you back in your place…literally.

Perhaps this slowing down of affairs is a blessing in disguise. A forced moment to take the lay of the land, attune yourself to the internal barometer and relearn how to react on a more millibar basis. Notice how you feel about the people with whom you decide to surround yourself. Notice how you feel about yourself in all different situations. This is the level of connection for which we should always strive.

Watching life go by at a fraction of its current post-millennial speed makes us realize just how much happens every day. When you allow your brain to speak on every bit of observation that it makes, it is a huge flex-fest for the cerebral synapses that leaves you feeling so alive. So much so that it is easy to get caught in the simple subtleties of the days most minor events…or drowned out by the life changing moments that can occur.

So on the days that you feel the slowest, take your time. Take time in your 1st gear and watch the billions of mini actions that really compose the threads of the fabric of the world. This is where you witness the finest embroidery.


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An Encounter of the First Kind

A file drags across the dull metal blade in an even, grinding push. Over and over again, with the file in her right hand and the small sword in her left, the tarnished steel is delicately ground by the gray stone. It may be a redundant and somewhat boring activity, but Emma always found it relaxing and oddly fulfilling. As if each stroke were repentance for anything she may have done to others in her life. Every push was the purging of an evil thought or disemboweling verbal assault.

When the edge had reached a hair splitting sharpness, she delicately spat on a rag and started to wipe the flat side in the same familiar motion. This was no different than anything that another would do to improve themselves. One chooses a specific skill to focus on and hone, like the edge. Once an acceptable level of sharpness has been reached, the focus then becomes to buff that skill package and ready it for integration in to the current quiver of skills – perhaps to prepare it for the multidimensional requirements of performance.

One sharp edge doth not a swordsman make. She always relied on little quips of wisdom to tie her self-recognized intelligence to ancient philosophies. As if such a connection grounded her manic tendencies.

More than highly trained skills are required to perform as a master. There is the mental clarity to respond as nimbly as one’s stature may allow: a foundational component in any performer. Without clarity, there is only the fog of perception and the certainty of failure. There was a time where Emma had no ultimate goal and this lack of vision made each swing of her arm clumsy and forced.

Emotional poise is the connection from a clear mind to a deft hand. This is the gate on the conduit of our freely flowing energies. The more emotional we are, the narrower the bandwidth and we will lack the control needed to succeed. In Emma’s first encounter she lashed out with savagery and not an iota of emotional control, like an animal without bearings. Though she came through that episode as the last one standing, she knew the weakness of her opponent was the only reason she was not the one on the ground, feeding the parched dirt with her sanguine fluids.

Though there are intricacies between these cortexes of success, they are but details compared to the supreme concept. A lack of strength and coordination between mind, body and emotion, is just a ticking time bomb. An explosion of self is a result that Emma could not afford. For too long she had pursued this goal and constant discipline was going to be the only environ to allow her dream tree to bear ripe fruits.

With a slow gesture, she lifted the now gleaming blade into the air and rotated it to allow the light to dance through the angle changes from the paper thin sharpness to the three sixteenths thick blade back. Emma lowered the sword and put the pommel in her left hand and traced figure eights in the air. Her elbows remained bent to parry any confronting blows and her wrists made strong deliberate gestures and maintaining the proper angle of the blade through the motions.

With the sword pointed right out from her like a unicorn’s tusk she felt ready to make her next encounter. It had been the mandatory five weeks at sunrise and Emma knew it when the first rays of the morning bathed her face through the thin paper screen that covered her window. There were only screens covering the windows, as a full obscuring of the natural light leaves one open to attack and keeps the natural photonic energy out, when every packet of vibrance should be wanted and accepted.

Releasing the pommel, she picked up the scabbard with her left hand and slowly slid the katana into its home. In one deft movement, she leaped from her knees to her feet and bowed slowly to the stone statue in front of her, keeping her eyes closed, as if that childlike trust would allow more blessing to hold to her anima. Turning on a heel, Emma walked out of the room and to her fate.


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The dirt falls from my fingers,

Because I spend my days toiling in the fields. It’s back breaking, thankless, and the least likely thing to deliver happiness in this curt life we lead. My muck boots may have fine laces, but they are still made from heifer leather. My sleeves still roll when the going gets tough, though the cuff may be French and initialed. Our backs pain together, arched over our handheld technologies. The steel is either hand-ground for an edge or polished to a shine. The tool is our cross roads between working harder or smarter, where grunt meets hmmm. This has become the most opportune moment to sit back and strategize. A bonobian brow is raised and a chimp’s fist comes down with a thud. This is a moment of evolution, something that uniquely sets us apart from those who came before. Though the action may be small for one human, it is but a leap for humankind. This is why those with the weight of the world on their shoulders seem to have the strength of an army and the vision of an oracle. Divinely inspired by something that is anything but…the inching forward of ACTG into another helical duet that leads to another and so on, until something is from what was not. Great contemplation has no relation to contempt, because creativity is the photon packet of man that no shallow dish of human emotion can refract or distort. When the flash of brilliance passes like a solar flare, our noses return to the laws of gravity and we return to what we were doing before the nano-stretching of the fabric of life made us step outside of ourselves. Then we take comfort in the dirt again, so familiar, so grounding, so now.


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We All Believe In Something,

I just tend to believe in it more than the next guy. When you find something to believe in, you stick with it. When you find something you are good at, you stick with it. I’m a protestor for hire and I support causes. Gender causes, racial causes, environmental causes, political causes, class-warfare causes and any other cause that causes you to have a cause. You can say that I quite literally live a cause and affect relationship. A cause is bigger than us. It has life, yet is lifeless. There is energy akin to cold fusion in causes, and when I tap into it I can protest forever. On my feet picketing, on my ass starving or on my stomach in handcuffs – I support the cause. I would take nails through my hands for the cause. I am the master of props in supporting the cause. I once wheeled an old woman out of a convalescence home for a cause. She had no idea who she was or where she was. It’s not like I mistreated her, as a matter of fact she was doing more than she had done in years. We stood outside of that pharmaceutical laboratory and we let them have it. Science for better living, they say; my ass, I say. You produce the most lethal type of warfare imaginable, the kind that people truly believe they can’t live without. I understand the marvels of modern medicine as well as the next recipient of a few more years of quality living; more than I would have had on my own, but they play a different game. Get them early with ritalin, adderal and welbutrin. Keep them forever with vasodilators, ACE inhibitors and pain relievers. We all know people who dodged the addiction bullet, and we all know some who took it between the eyes. We can’t allow anyone else to get hurt. Like poor Materna here in the chair, she will never know her grandkids because your Allegra failed to make her happy…and we all view happy in a different way. For some it means no more restricted air passages, for others it literally means being happy. Don’t judge them, because we aren’t them. Support them, as you would want them to support you in a time of need. See how this auto-support can be addictive. Doing good is truly addictive. The only way to break an addiction is cold-turkey, but even I could protest against that. Stop devaluing the social benefits incurred by our national holiday of Thanksgiving. Take the opportunity to see how it brings families together and spurs individuals to give selflessly to others in much greater need. Warm turkey is a foundation of humanity and inextricably linked to our cultural underpinnings. And our culture is about making ourselves happy…now. Actually yesterday, if it were at all humanly possible. I support the organic production and distribution of happiness. As long as it is sustainably grown and harvested, it seems like there should be enough happiness to go around. This is why I support sharing, like the WiFi that I am borrowing from my neighbor to post this supportive cause of the representation of self-fulfilling causal support.